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Int Dent J. 1999 Feb;49(1):15-26.

Caries-risk assessment.

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University of Saarland, Department of Periodontology and Conservative Dentistry, Homburg, Germany.


Dental caries has a multifactorial aetiology in which there is an interplay of three principal factors: the host (saliva and teeth), the microflora (plaque), and the substrate (diet), and a fourth factor: time. There is no single test that takes into consideration all these factors and can accurately predict an individual's susceptibility to caries. The risk of dental caries can be evaluated by analysing and integrating several causative factors. These include caries experience (initial caries lesions and established caries defects, secondary caries and present caries activity), fluoride use, extent of plaque present, diet, bacterial and salivary activity and social and behavioural factors.

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